The Economist magazine just ran a short article on Savings Groups. It’s quite gratifying how many things the article gets right. It has a good concise description of how savings groups operate and contrasts them favorably with credit-based microfinance.
The article addresses two themes that are sometimes lost in short descriptions of savings groups, but that I suspect will be the most discussed aspects of savings groups in coming years.
First, it mentions combining savings groups with other activities (“Once members have mastered the system, the groups they have formed can take on additional tasks such as providing training in agriculture, health, leadership and business”.)
Then it ends with a mention of what in some areas is by far the main channel through which SGs are created, community-driven growth (“Members may go on to spread what they have learned to other villages.”)
Thanks to Lauren Hendricks for bringing this article to our attention. And thanks to whoever worked with the Economist to get such a good short article published in such an influential magazine.